How to SME Tips

How to set and maintain boundaries with your clients

Setting and maintaining boundaries is important for business.
Whether you are a freelancer or small business owner, you will have to learn how to set and maintain boundaries with your clients,
otherwise, you might just get frustrated and burnt out.

Working with clients is not that easy. It requires good communication skills, mental strength, patience, and the ability to juggle multiple tasks with tight deadlines sometimes.

1. Establish your boundaries

Firstly, take some time to figure out what is and what is not acceptable in a professional relationship.
What hours do you want to work? How do you prefer to communicate?
What happens if a client doesn’t uphold their promises to you in regards to getting items to you, delivering feedback, or other things that will affect your workflow? Answering those questions will give you some idea of where your boundaries are and what you need to enforce.

2. Set boundaries early

Next, it is best to set boundaries at the beginning of any relationship with a client.
It is okay to let them know if you don’t respond to emails or phone calls on certain days or outside of certain hours.

3. Put it in writing

Furthermore, It is important you put those boundaries and expectations in writing. Just to be clear on things like when and how to communicate, when you’re available for calls, and what your expectations for them.

4. Value your own time

You have to respect your own time before you expect your clients to value or respect your time. Figure out when your peak creative hours are, and treat those hours as sacred. And when you’re not scheduled to be working, don’t respond to client requests.

5. Learn to say no

Saying no is important if you want to establish and maintain your boundaries. A boundary is meaningless if you aren’t willing to tell your client no to something that’s outside of those boundaries.
Lastly, it takes time and practice and note that sometimes, boundaries will get crossed. Anticipate it and have a proper plan that will save you the trouble.
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